13 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

13 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central America trip builder

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Route & dates

Start: San Jose
Bus:  3 h
1
Manuel Antonio
— 1 day
Drive:  6 h 45 min
2
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 1 day
Drive:  6 h 30 min
3
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h 45 min
4
Poas Volcano National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive + Bus:  3 h 45 min
6
Puerto Limon
— 2 nights
+2
Taxi + Fly + Bus:  2 h 30 min
End: San Jose

1
day
Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio ©
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Thu): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio, then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

For maps, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio trip builder.

San Jose to Manuel Antonio is an approximately 3- hour bus ride. You can also drive; or take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Thu) so you can drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Oct 2 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Spas

1
day
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca ©
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca offers a wealth of entertainment by the sea, attracting a lively international crowd of revelers while maintaining a bright and breezy coastal charm with a local feel.
Start off your visit on the 4th (Fri): kick back and relax at Puerto Viejo Beach and then kick back and relax at Punta Uva Beach.

For maps, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, use the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip planner.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Oct 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Punta Uva Beach ©
Punta Uva Beach
Puerto Viejo Beach ©
Puerto Viejo Beach

2
nights
Monteverde

Monteverde ©
Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Sat): appreciate the extensive heritage of Ecological Sanctuary, then stroll through Valle Escondido Preserve, then take a peaceful walk through Curi Cancha Reserve, and finally learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at The Bat Jungle. On the 6th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Wild Hikes.

For more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Monteverde tour planner.

Drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Monteverde in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Poas Volcano National Park.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Oct 4 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Ecological Sanctuary ©
Ecological Sanctuary
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve ©
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
Valle Escondido Preserve ©
Valle Escondido Preserve

2
nights
Poas Volcano National Park

Poas Volcano National Park ©
A trip to Poas Volcano National Park allows you to see one of the world's largest craters, trek through a lush rainforest, and visit a coffee plantation all on the same day.
On the 7th (Mon), tour the pleasant surroundings at Mariposas Sarchi, admire the sheer force of Los Chorros Waterfalls, and then take in the dramatic scenery at Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz. On your second day here, pause for some serene contemplation at Catedral de Ciudad Quesada, tour the pleasant surroundings at Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park, and then take in nature's colorful creations at Pierella Ecological Garden.

For traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Poas Volcano National Park driving holiday planner.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Poas Volcano National Park takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 9th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Poas Volcano National Park

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park, Los Chorros Waterfalls, Catedral de Ciudad Quesada, Mariposas Sarchi, Pierella Ecological Garden
Find places to stay Oct 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park ©
Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Catedral de Ciudad Quesada ©
Catedral de Ciudad Quesada

3
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos

La Fortuna de San Carlos ©
Set against the backdrop of the imposing Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna de San Carlos offers visitors a chance to explore diverse natural landscapes and sample some delicious local produce.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Wed): take in the natural beauty of Paradise Hot Springs. On the 10th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: indulge in some personalized pampering at Tabacon Hot Springs, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Butterfly Conservatory, and then stroll through Arenal Natura Ecological Park.

To see other places to visit and tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planning app.

Drive from Poas Volcano National Park to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sat) early enough to travel to Puerto Limon.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Spas

Side Trip

Butterfly Conservatory
Find places to stay Oct 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory

2
nights
Puerto Limon

Puerto Limon ©
On the 12th (Sat), admire the striking features of Explore Limon, then pause for some serene contemplation at Catedral Sagrado Corazon de Jesus, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Costa Rica Wildlife Sanctuary. On the next day, stroll through Veragua Rainforest Park, then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Bonita, and then walk around Vargas Park.

For maps, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Puerto Limon online tour planner.

You can do a combination of car and bus from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Puerto Limon in 4 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of shuttle, bus, flight, and taxi. In October, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 14th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Puerto Limon

Parks Wildlife Outdoors
Find places to stay Oct 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Bonita ©
Playa Bonita
Catedral Sagrado Corazon de Jesus ©
Catedral Sagrado Corazon de Jesus
Explore Limon ©
Explore Limon

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